It’s so rewarding for us when brands write to us to be featured in jiminy, but even more so when a brand has such a strong and meaningful story …
PER INCISO is a new and inventive collection of contemporary jewellery by Giada Giachino. The collection has been designed to help raise awareness surrounding the unnecessary waste products produced by the seafood industry.
Instagram | @GiadaGiachino
– Each year, almost 10 million tonnes of waste shells are produced in the seafood industry.
– These shells are repeatedly thrown back into the sea or into landfill.
– Shells from crab, lobster and shrimp are loaded with useful Nitrogen rich chemicals and calcium carbonate.
– Nitrogen rich chemicals are used for fertiliser and animal feed.
– Calcium carbonate has considerable functions in the pharmaceutical industry.
– Usually calcium carbonate is extracted by mining from geological sources such as marble and limestone.
In addition to making people more conscious about the misuse of shells from crab, lobster and shrimp, Giada is also using her jewellery to preserve cultural crafting techniques in the south of Italy – her home country.
Shells have been used in the making of ‘cameo’ jewellery for almost a millennium, however, the skilled and traditional industry is fading quickly. Whilst studying at Central Saint Martins, Giada spent some time in the cameo and coral workshops in Torre del Greco in Naples. In Naples only 300 families remain who have the skills and knowledge of cameo production and last year only one student attended the school to learn this age old technique.
By preserving these skills, Giada ensures that the production of her jewellery is able to continue; the artisanal skills of the engravers are crucial because they’re the only ones able to cut the shells and it also provides an income for families in Naples. The shells that Giada uses are the lips from the queen conch that are usually engraved in the cameo workshops. The lips represent the 30% of the whole shell and they are usually thrown away because they aren’t suitable for engraving.
“Apart from material sustainability, this project proposes an economical development of the workshops that operates in the field of cameo and coral production….With Per Inciso, I state that the by-products from the cameo workshop need to be re-introduced in the engraving process in order to become jewellery again….The project does not conceal the origins of the shells, but highlights the future possibilities that these up-cycled materials reveal when applied to traditional jewellery techniques.”
Just in case you were wondering about the assembly of Giada’s jewellery, she really hasn’t missed a trick. Giada uses recycled silver in order to preserve materials and entropy resin to reduce her carbon footprint, because it’s 50% less harmful than using regular petroleum based resins.
Meet the Maker
Is there an emotional reason as to why you decided to make sustainable jewellery from waste shells?
I think the only emotional reason is beauty and curiosity. I have never considered the materials I use as waste and this is probably why I wanted to deepen their application in the traditional jewellery field.
How did you begin your creative process?
Historical and material research has been crucial, and in this sense being in London made a major part in the process. I have spent a lot of time just trying to understand the context of my research, the stakeholders and the future developments. I have a really down-to-earth approach to design, and I strongly believe that practice and research have to work in a pair.
Does your work involve a lot of experimentation?
It does, and at the beginning was really difficult for me to find a comfort zone where to operate. Most of the materials I use involve a high level of manufacturing or specific machinery – I tried to cut the shell lips by myself once, and I almost broke a stone cutting machine! Being open to mistakes has really helped me, as well as not being afraid to try different approaches or cross into other disciplines in order to achieve a result.
Apart from raising awareness surrounding waste products in the seafood industry, what else does your brand stand for?
I believe that traditional jewellery in the world can be resilient to change. And that traditional skills can be preserved in the contemporary landscape. As a young Italian designer I work constantly with small workshops, and I am aware that the master carvers in South of Italy are the only people in the whole world able to cut my pieces. Losing them does not just mean losing a part of the production chain, but also a great part of what is globally recognized as Italian jewellery culture.
It’s the use of innovative materials at the heart of Giada’s jewellery that make it so appealing. The combination of coral hues and lustrous silver prove to be a simple and clever pairing that we just can’t get enough of!
Giada is now based in London after completing a Fashion Degree in Milan followed by a Masters Degree in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins. Giada has now decided to develop her already well rooted brand even further whilst continuing to promote sustainable practices across the globe – which is music to our ears!
PER INCISO is the first part of a three part project. The second part, FRANTUMA will be launched in September 2017 and PER FABRICA will be presented in the Summer of 2018.
The collection RRP’s from as little as £90 and is available to buy online at www.giadagiachino.com & Made in Arts.
Or if you’d like to try the jewellery on, pop into Luxxdesign in Fulham Broadway, London.
To stay up to date with these beautiful designs, follow Giada on Instagram here.